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      Perforated eardrum

      Do you have earache and hearing loss after a middle ear infection or injury, or have you experienced a sudden loud noise and air pressure change?

      A perforated eardrum (a hole or rupture in the eardrum) can be caused by:

      • serious middle ear infections, such as untreated otitis media
      • injury to the eardrum, caused by, for example, a severe blow to the ear or poking things in your ear
      • sudden loud noise, such as an explosion, accompanied by a pressure change
      • rapid changes in air pressure, such as when changing altitude in an aeroplane, or when scuba diving.

      A perforated eardrum may give you earache. The hearing loss is usually only temporary and your hearing will return once your eardrum has healed.

      It’s important not to get water or any other liquid in your ear while your eardrum is perforated, as this can cause an infection in the middle ear.

      How is a perforated eardrum treated?

      A perforated eardrum normally heals on its own within two months. For more serious damage, usually following repeated episodes of otitis media, you might need an operation called a myringoplasty, where a tissue graft is used to seal up the hole.

      Diagram of the ear

      Our ears are our organs of hearing and balance. They have three parts: the outer, middle and inner ear.

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